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TV Review: Prison Break – “Deal or No Deal” is Engaging Enough

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Prison Break’s episode “Deal or No Deal” was not as thrilling as the spectacular episode that was last week’s; however it still delivered some intense moments all the same.

“Deal or No Deal” picks up where last week ended, with Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and gang realizing that Self (Michael Rapaport) betrayed them royally. Self misleads his superior into thinking that Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and Scofield assaulted himself and Trishanne (Shannon Lucio), and he then takes Gretchen’s (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) child and sister as hostage in an attempt to make her get him another Scylla buyer.

Gretchen is also forced to give up the information regarding the intended meeting point between her and Scofield, thereby giving Self the opportunity to send Homeland Security out to arrest the gang. After being captured, and lured back into the warehouse, Lincoln and Scofield agree to testify against Self. However they soon find out they’ve been lied to, and in a shoot-out manage to escape with the help of Sucre (Amaury Nolasco). The episode ends with Self realizing that in the end Scofield has proven to be the more intelligent of the two and now holds something Self desperately needs.

Although not as tight and tense as last week’s episode, this week’s offering still kept the thrill in the series, and with some slight twists and turns (albeit within what came across as a few unnecessary complications), “Deal or No Deal” still was enticing and exciting to sit through.

With a now smaller cast (with the demise of Bellick and Roland Glenn), this series is structured more firmly, giving each character something vital to contribute, plotwise, to the program. That was sorely missing before, when the cast was too big, and an urgent trim was badly needed. Now with Wyatt (Cress Williams) also out of the picture, the structure seems to be even tighter and better paced.

The last couple of episodes were also well scripted, well paced, and held our attention with ease. However, one can only wonder how long this cat and mouse game between Scofield (and gang) and the Company can go on for. The mid-season change of “villain” from Wyatt to Self was ingenious, but any more changes in antagonists and the series will once again barrel into being tedious and far too drawn out.

Already, this chase between Scofield and gang and the Company has gone on for four seasons, and it’s about time that we are given some kind of resolution, instead of the antagonists changing so frequently, from season to season, that in the end no viewer can remain invested in whether Scofield and gang survive or not. The audience will start to get apathetic about a show’s protagonists when the antagonists keep changing, and in the process this dilutes the excitement of rooting for the hero. Hence, let’s hope that Prison Break knows when to pull the plug before Scofield and his antics turn sour and tiresome on us.

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.